S&P MAINTAINS STRONG BUY OPINION ON SHARES OF VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS
An FDA panel recommended that sustained viral response should be measured at 24 weeks after the end of HCV therapy and that shortening the duration of therapy over the standard of care is unlikely to lead to approval of the VX-950 hepatitis C treatment, unless superiority of efficacy is also shown. Also, a 72-week control arm might be required, which could extend the filing date. We see some risk to the clinical timeline. However, we remain positive on VRTX and view the shares as compelling at current levels. Our 12-month target price remains $42.